BJÓRBÖÐIN BEERSPA EXPERIENCE IN ICELAND - ICELAND WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER | Zakas Photography
BJÓRBÖÐIN BEERSPA EXPERIENCE IN ICELAND - JUST OUTSIDE OF AKUREYRI
Yes, you read that right. Beerspa. Beer + Spa. A Beerspa in Iceland. A wonderful, magic place where you sit your whole body in a wooden tub filled with fresh beer while you get cold beer out of a tap to drink as you sit in this glorious, warm, beer. This magical wonderland is called Bjórböðin.
Bjórböðin is about a half-hour outside of the Northern Iceland town, Akureyri. (Iceland's second biggest city!) Akureyri is about a 5hr drive from Reykjavík on nice weather. Which if you know anything about Iceland, you should prepare for the trip to take about 6hrs because the weather is never perfect all the time. When I was in Iceland in December with my badass friend Domenica, we had the privilege to experience this, which I must say has spoiled me. We drove up one morning from Reykjavík and decided to stay the night in Akureyri at the cutest little Airbnb apartment so we could be at our appointment at Bjórböðin the next morning. Making an appointment is super simple, you can reserve your time on their website and pay right there. If you do the private room like we did, you need to make a reservation because they fill the tubs up fresh for you right before your appointment. No dirty beerwater for you!
The drive from Reykjavík is gorgeous, you pass over a few mountains, drive next to some fjörds, drive through lava fields, it's breathtaking. We did what we do best which was laugh a lot, stop to take photos, and eat lots of snacks. (One of my favorite things about Iceland is the paprika snacks of all types. I can't get enough.) The next morning we took the simple drive to the Beerspa. I suggest arriving about 15min before your appointment, or, arrive way ahead of time and eat at the restaurant. There is also a bar in the lobby where you can get, you guessed it, lots of local beer!
While we waited out in the lobby, the tubs were being filled with the non-alcoholic 'young beer' (that you should NOT drink, duh.) by hand from the woman at the front. The 'young beer' is live beer yeast, hops, water, beer oil and beer salt. You can see the hops floating around which will also stick to you a bit once you leave the bath. You won't wash yourself off right away afterwards to give time for everything to soak in, so embrace the bits sticking to you! The young beer is AMAZING for your skin and hair, everything felt silky and smooth when we left. Since the beer being used for the bath is in the early stages of fermentation, the 'young beer' has very low pH. The low pH softens your hair follicles and is also cleansing for both your hair and your skin. According to their website, and the information in the lobby, "Brewers yeast that has gone through the process of fermenting beer, is a great source of nearly the whole Vitamin B scale, which has very revitalising effect on skin and hair and is also a great source of protein, potassion, iron, zink and magnesium. The beer hops are rich of antiocidants and alpha acids. The oils and minerals from the plant have antiinflammatory effect to the skin and is also used to decrease the surface blood vessels. Hops are proven to have soothing and relaxing effect on muscels and body." I can attest that this is the truth.
The 25min time in the tub went by fast, partially because we were having lots of fun, drinking a few glasses of cold beer out of the tap, and taking way too many selfies. I felt relaxed and refreshed when we stepped out. It is advised that you don't wash it off for 3-5hrs after the bath, in order to let it all 'sink in'. So, to keep the experience going, once you come out of the bath and put your fancy Bjórböðin robe on- you get escorted to a dark, warm, quiet room upstairs above the spa. In this room is where you properly melt into a ball of warm mush. The attendants tuck you into a daybed where they wrap you up in handmade Icelandic wool blankets and give you a foot massage until you fall asleep. There, they will let you rest for about 30min. It was seriously the hardest thing to do all day was leave from that bed and my wool cocoon of fricken' awesomeness.
After you make your way back downstairs, you can jump in the saunas both inside and outside, or even take a swim in the hot tubs outside that are overlooking the mountains and sea. There really is no better way to spend a day in Iceland if you are not hiking. Or, you can hike and then end the day at Bjórböðin. Either way, this is a must hit spot when you visit. It is relaxing, a wonderful experience that your muscles, hair, and skin will thank you for. It is a really great excuse to leave Reykjavík and see more of the country. I will definitely be coming back for another Beerspa experience on one of my next trips. Iceland to me is now the land of fire, ice, and beer.
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